Boston Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

The Boston pedestrian accident lawyers at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers have experience with all types of pedestrian accident cases. Our attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of your accident, identify all potentially responsible parties and make sure they are held accountable.

We handle car versus pedestrian traffic accident cases, as well bicycle versus pedestrian cases, premises liability cases and cases against state and local government agencies. If your pedestrian accident injuries were caused by a defective design or poorly maintained roadway or sidewalk, the parties that own the property and are responsible for its maintenance could be responsible.

Our attorneys understand the seriousness of all pedestrian accident cases and won’t stop working until you recover the damages you’re owed.

Most of us are pedestrians each and every day. We are at risk for various types of accidents that can result in serious injury and even death.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 6,300 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2018.

That same year, in Boston, there were 680 pedestrians hit by cars and seven died, according to safety coalition Vision Zero Boston.

As you can see, pedestrian traffic accidents are very real and deadly.

Those who survive pedestrian versus motor vehicle accidents often suffer serious or sometimes catastrophic injuries. The human body is no match for two tons of moving, speeding steel.

The aftereffects can be devastating between medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and months of grueling rehabilitation. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you receive full compensation for all of your injuries. It’s not fair for you to pay for someone else’s negligence.

What is the Most Common Cause of Injury to Pedestrians in Massachusetts?

The most common cause of injury to pedestrians in Massachusetts is motor vehicle accidents.

According to data from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles account for a significant number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities each year.

These accidents can occur due to a variety of factors, such as:

  • Distracted or negligent drivers who fail to see pedestrians crossing the street
  • Poorly designed or maintained roadways
  • Lack of adequate crosswalks or sidewalks
  • Lack of traffic signals or signs to warn drivers and pedestrians of potential hazards

Other possible causes of pedestrian injuries in Massachusetts include:

  • Slip and fall accidents on sidewalks or other walkways
  • Trips and falls caused by uneven surfaces or obstacles
  • Accidents caused by poorly maintained or designed buildings
  • Bike accidents.

It's worth noting that, in order to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents and injuries, it is important for both drivers and pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings and follow traffic laws and regulations.

What are Some of the First Things an Individual Involved in a Pedestrian Accident in Massachusetts Should Do?

If you are involved in a pedestrian accident in Massachusetts, the first things you should do are:

  1. Seek medical attention right away. Even injuries that seem minor at first can prove to be much worse later.
  2. Report the accident to the police.
  3. Collect the contact and insurance information of the driver (if a motor vehicle accident) and any witnesses.
  4. Take photographs of the scene of the accident and any injuries you sustained. If you tripped or slipped, take pictures of the object that caused your fall.
  5. Contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
  6. Do not speak to the insurance company or accept any settlement offers without consulting with an attorney first.
What Responsibility Does a Driver Have to Avoid Hitting a Pedestrian in Boston?

In Boston, as well as in the state of Massachusetts, drivers have a legal responsibility to exercise reasonable care to avoid hitting pedestrians. This means that they must take steps to avoid colliding with pedestrians, such as by driving at a safe speed, obeying traffic signals and signs, and keeping a lookout for people on or near the road. Additionally, under Massachusetts law, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing at a crosswalk or within a marked crosswalk area.

Furthermore, Massachusetts law also has specific regulations for drivers approaching crosswalks on a road with no traffic signals. The driver must exercise due care by slowing down or stopping if necessary to avoid hitting a pedestrian crossing the road within a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.

If a driver fails to take these precautions and causes a pedestrian accident, the driver may be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Did you know that the majority of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents are males and that alcohol is involved in almost half of all fatal pedestrian crashes?

Here are some traffic safety facts as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration related to 2017 data:

  • On average, a pedestrian was killed every 88 minutes in a traffic accident.
  • Pedestrian deaths comprised 16% of all traffic fatalities.
  • 70% of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents were males.
  • 75% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in the dark.
  • 91% of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes involved a single vehicle.
  • 80% of pedestrian fatalities take place in urban areas as compared to rural ones.
Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Occur?

Pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere pedestrians can be found. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 73% of pedestrian fatalities in 2017 did not occur at intersections.

Here’s a look at some locations both on and off roadways where pedestrian accidents and fatalities are likely to occur:

  • Intersections
  • Roadsides/shoulders
  • Parking lanes
  • Bicycle lanes
  • Sidewalks
  • Medians/crossing islands
  • Driveway accesses
  • Shared-use paths/trails
  • Other locations
High Crash Intersections for Pedestrians in Boston

Vision Zero Boston lists these locations as the top five high crash intersections in the city for pedestrians from 2015-17:

  1. Massachusetts Avenue & Beacon Street
  2. Massachusetts Avenue & Columbus Avenue
  3. Massachusetts Avenue & Albany Street
  4. Massachusetts Avenue & Melnea Cass Boulevard
  5. Columbia Road & Washington Street
Types Injuries

When you’re walking near traffic, your body is vulnerable. You’re trusting that motorists will follow the rules of the road and drive in a safe manner. A negligent driver places your body—and your life—at risk.

If you’re injured in a pedestrian accident, you could suffer one or more of these injuries:

  • Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Internal bleeding
  • Loss of limbs
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Wrongful death
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Here are some common causes of pedestrian accidents:

  • Unmarked crosswalks
  • Improper lane use such as when a bicyclist uses a sidewalk and forces a pedestrian into traffic
  • Distracted driving, including cellphone usage
  • Drunk driving
  • Speeding
  • Bad weather and poor visibility

Pedestrians can contribute to their own injuries by using their cellphones while walking and walking while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

Even if you share some blame for your accident, you still might be able to collect from other responsible parties. A pedestrian accident lawyer will examine the facts of your case and advise you on next steps to take.

Hit-and-Run Accidents

According to information from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, almost 20% of all pedestrian deaths in the past 10 years were caused by hit-and-run crashes.

A hit-and-run accident is any accident in which a vehicle strikes a person, object or another vehicle and the driver knowingly leaves the accident scene without providing contact and insurance information.

Why would a driver leave the scene of a pedestrian accident? The driver might not have auto insurance or a valid driver’s license or might have been using alcohol or other drugs prior to the accident. The driver could have panicked and left the accident scene to avoid any repercussions.

In Massachusetts, penalties for hit-and-run accidents vary depending upon the circumstances of the accident. Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident that results in the death of another person is a felony offense in Massachusetts. If convicted, the driver faces imprisonment and fines of up to $5,000.

If the at-fault driver isn’t identified, your claim most likely will be handled under your own insurance policy as an uninsured motorist claim.

You can read more about state laws pertaining to a driver’s failure to stop after a collision at Massachusetts General Law, chapter 90, § 24.

Other Types of Pedestrian Accidents

Not all pedestrian accidents involve motor vehicles. Pedestrian accidents can be caused by:

  • Debris on roads or sidewalks
  • Potholes
  • Construction zones
  • Uneven payment

The owner of the property could be potentially liable for your injuries. Generally speaking, property owners have a duty to maintain their property in a safe condition and warn of any hazards. In this regard, you might be able to sue a business owner, government entity or other responsible party for your non-vehicular pedestrian accident.

A pedestrian accident attorney will analyze the facts of your case and identify all potentially liable parties.

Claims against local or state governments are complicated and have their own set of rules. An attorney will help you navigate a claim against the government and make sure that you abide by all applicable deadlines.

How to Protect Yourself From a Pedestrian Accident

You can take these steps to minimize your chance of becoming a pedestrian accident victim:

  • Pay attention to your surroundings
  • Avoid using headphones or a cellphone
  • Use sidewalks when available
  • Use crosswalks when available
  • Don’t jaywalk
  • Wear reflective clothing or carry a light when walking at night
Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident

If you’ve been the victim of a pedestrian accident, there are a few important steps to take right after the accident.

First, call the police.

Collect contact information for any involved drivers and witnesses. If you didn’t see the car that hit you, witness information could be critical to your case.

Use your cellphone to take pictures of your injuries and the accident scene.

Accept medical treatment, even if your injuries appear to be minor in nature. You might not realize the true severity of your injuries until days or even weeks after the accident. Medical documentation is key to any recovery.

Refrain from making statements to anyone at the scene or to insurance companies who contact you about the accident. Don’t sign any settlement papers from any insurance companies until they’re reviewed by a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer. Insurers will be looking out for their own bottom lines and not your health and well-being.

A good pedestrian accident attorney will have top-notch litigation and negotiation skills and will make sure any insurance settlements are fair to compensate you for your injuries in accordance with policy limits.

The Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers has successfully handled vehicular and non-vehicular pedestrian accident cases and other personal injury cases on behalf of individuals in Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Lawrence and other areas of Massachusetts. Our attorneys are equipped to help all pedestrian accident victims whose lives have been turned upside down by another party’s negligence.

We handle cases on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no out-of-pocket costs to you unless we recover money for you.

If you or a member of your family has been a victim of a pedestrian accident or any personal injury accident in Boston or another area of Massachusetts, contact Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your right.

Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog - Pedestrian Accidents
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